Culture secretary

The Culture Secretary who will decide S4C’s fate says she ‘knows how popular it is in Wales’

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Nadine Dorries testifies before the Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Culture Secretary, who will decide the fate of Welsh-language TV channel S4C, said she “knows how popular it is in Wales”.

Testifying before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Nadine Dorries said she also knew Welsh MPs “love it”.

The UK government is currently deciding how much money S4C should have for the period 2022-27. Since 2010, S4C’s budget has been reduced each year by 36% in real terms.

“I appreciate the importance of S4C and know how popular it is in Wales,” said Nadine Dorries.

“And I know how much Welsh MPs love it. And so I don’t want you to think that I don’t.

“You know, it’s a small station but it’s very important in terms of the Welsh language, and I’m aware of that.”

She added that she could not discuss “ongoing discussions” over the fee, on which S4C now partly depends.

She was responding to a question from Pontypridd MP Alex Davies-Jones, who wondered about the impact of the license fee changes on regional broadcasting.

“I’m obviously particularly concerned about Wales and the impact it will have there, especially as S4C is included in the negotiations for the very first time,” she said.

“What steps are you taking to ensure that regional content is protected in the future? »

‘Asset’

Last week, S4C announced that it had appointed a former chief executive of telecom giant TalkTalk as chief executive.

Siân Doyle, who will lead the Welsh-language broadcaster from January 1, 2022, also worked for EE, where she was director of retail.

There she was responsible for leading and developing a team of 3,500 people across the UK. She also served as Senior Vice President of Comcast Cable in Philadelphia.

Rhodri Williams, Chair of S4C’s Shadow Unitary Board, said, “We are delighted to be able to appoint a leader with extensive experience in formulating and implementing ambitious and successful strategies and in understanding and meeting the needs of consumers.

“We need to be bold in order to ensure that S4C redefines itself as a creative and bold content provider that audiences want to engage with across a variety of platforms.

“The Board of Directors has full confidence in Siân’s ability to solve this problem and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital world. Siân’s extensive telecommunications and retail experience in the UK, Canada and the US and, of course, her love for the Welsh language, will be a great asset to S4C in the years to come.

Siân Doyle said, “Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with special people and companies and I have learned and benefited from these valuable experiences. My passion for my colleagues and the needs of consumers has been an integral part of my experience over the years.

“Now that I am back in Wales, I look forward to working with the team at S4C and leading the organization as it responds energetically to changes in the media landscape, ensuring that the best possible of every opportunity.

“I join S4C at the start of this transformation and will focus on working to empower the talent we have in Wales to further innovate in this exciting digital world.”


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